Thursday, 17 March 2011

A few good things to eat (volume 2)

Here is the second edition in what might turn into a regular series of posts singing the praises of food I've eaten, and possibly a few drinks I've imbibed. The first edition can be found here.

Stinking Bishop, available at good cheesemongers

Stinking bishop is a rather pungent washed rind cheese. The name is actually nothing to do with the smell, but comes from the name of the stinking bishop pear used to make the perry that the cheese is then washed in. Cheese rinsed in booze. Mmmm. It does stink though, so the name is apt. The flavour of the cheese rather belies the strong odour, as it's actually quite mellow and fruity. It also has a very smooth, shiny, spreadable texture that reminds me of processed cheese spread. I like to think of it as a sort of turbo dairylea (in a good way).

It's very good when left at room temperature to ooze for a while, then scooped up with some plain oatcakes. I also ate some stuffed in pancakes, which was a rather decadent pancake day treat. I bought mine from the Westmorland Farm Shop services (Tebay) on the M6. It seems to be fairly widely available so you can probably find it in a good cheesemonger.

Wilsons Pies, Crossgates, Armley & Morley

Wilsons of Crossgates are butchers renowned for their pork pies. I first fell in love with them while living in the Crossgates area some years ago. The Crossgates centre is pie heaven. Unless things have changed there are about 17 assorted bakeries and butchers within a 200 yard radius.

In recent years Wilson's seem to have expanded the pie side of the business. Their other shops in Armley and Morley focus on the pastries rather than the meat, and they also have a mobile pie van that can be found at all Leeds Rhinos home games.

The pies are not what I'd describe as a gourmet product, but they are bloody lovely. They're salty, porky, a bit greasy, have a nice, crisp crust, and are just delicious. Small pork pies are 95p each. I suggest you go buy one, or maybe several. Preferably several.

The Gentleman's Relish (Patum Peperium), widely available

The fish version of marmite. As a dedicated lover of all things fishy (thai fish sauce, asian shrimp pastes, anchovies etc etc) what's not to like. It's a simple concoction of anchovies, butter and seasoning of some sort ground into a fine paste. Stick to the recommendation on the tub and eat it spread sparingly on hot, buttered toast. I prefer it on granary. Yum.

Bundaberg Ginger Beer, available in deli's, posh sandwich shops, etc.

I like this. It's not gingery enough but it has a rather lovely aftertaste of toffee and is more refreshing than the colossal sugar content would suggest. Try as an alternative to Irn-Bru when feeling delicate! Probably not worth importing from Australia though... Fentimans is better and comes from Newcastle.

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